ETUG Spring 2013 - Engaging Communities of Practice Reflections on Course Design for Experiential Learning by Kim Lemieux

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Faculty facilitator(s) and student colleagues from VIU’s first cohort of the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma program (OLTD) share reflections and insights on engaging a community of practice to …

Faculty facilitator(s) and student colleagues from VIU’s first cohort of the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma program (OLTD) share reflections and insights on engaging a community of practice to support student success in an online graduate program. Samples of students’ work as seminar facilitiators will be featured and a question and answer-style discussion will engage delegates in discourse regarding community and relationship building online.

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  • Presence,
  • Technology, collaboration


  • 1. OLTDBuilding communities of practice in an online courseKim LemieuxOLTD ProgramVancouver Island University
  • 2. Design Context Goal was to create an opportunity for students to live theexperience of facilitating online communication Most of cohort were classroom teachers with little or no onlineteaching experience This course was the third online course in the program, sostudents were familiar with environment and each other Program’s focus is to expose educators to best practice in onlineteaching and learning while allowing them practical experience
  • 3.  Course Textbook:Kear, K. (2010)Online and SocialNetworkingCommunities: Abest practice guidefor educators.
  • 4. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory
  • 5. Course Design
  • 6. Emerging Themes The not so small matter of ‘presence’ Moving outside the Learning Management System (LMS) Trying out new teaching tools Working collaboratively to facilitate online Asynchronous vs Synchronous
  • 7. What the students had to say…Teaching online has quickly taught me thatinteraction and community increaseexponentially when we allow learners toparticipate in producer type activities suchas collaborating, moderating, leading andsharing. This was very evident in thiscourse as well, I found that the student ledseminars drew out many people that may nothave brought their thoughts to the forefrontif the course had been mainly instructorled.
  • 8. I think that often, in our eagernessto demonstrate how available we areto our online learners, we "over-sell" ourselves and ouravailability. There seems to be afine line between too much and notenough. I think taking on the roleof facilitator and student duringthese past 6 weeks, has allowed manyof us to see teacher presence in anew light.What the students had to say…
  • 9. Telling is not knowing I appreciate that you let us go our own way during the student ledseminar weeks, even if by your own admission you had to "biteyour tongue" several times. I’ve always been a very independent person and learner; therefore groupprojects have been a consistent challenge for me. However, I now morereadily recognize the benefit of having someone else to collaborate with andto bounce ideas off of. By listening to other points of view and reflectingupon other people’s perspectives I have been able to create deeperunderstandings and beliefs myself.
  • 10. Without a doubt I would argue that the trust andsense of community that we had established onlinewas genuine and every bit as real as a face to faceclassroom.… it dawned on me how effective our diversestrategies of largely asynchronous communication hadbeen. This is something I would not have feltpossible at the start of the OLTD program.
  • 11. Tools used in 503Haiku DeckStorybirdCrowdsourcing
  • 12. Lessons Learned- students appreciated theopen-ended format of thisassignment- students enjoyed theopportunity to collaborate witha partner in facilitating aseminar- participants in the seminarsstrived to ensure that seminarleaders were successful in theirfacilitation- students were cognizant ofinformation overload
  • 13. Lessons Learned- students were introducedto many tools in previousOLTD courses. Thisassignment enabled them toapply these tools to aninstructional task- students would havepreferred if the cohort hadnot been split into twogroups- a spirit of co-operationenhanced all course
  • 14. Last thoughts, burningquestions….Enso Circle(retrieved from